UN agency distributes food to needy Afghans stranded on Tajik border

25 May 2001

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that it had resumed its assistance to needy Afghans stranded on an island on the Afghan-Tajik border.

WFP had been forced to stop its assistance to the displaced Afghans earlier this year because it did not have unhindered access to the island on the Pianj river where they are living. But on Thursday, working with ACTED, a French non-governmental organization, the agency delivered 10 tonnes of food to some 1,500 Afghans in need.

"We insisted on, and got, full access to the area because we wanted to ensure that the needy are receiving the food aid -- and not any combatants," said WFP Tajikistan Country Director Bouchan Hadj-Chikh. "Of this, we are confident."

The agency's Tajikistan office organized the food delivery because the island is more accessible on the Tajik side of the border, WFP said. The relief package included wheat flour, oil, salt, lentils and sugar.


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